Two print journals that didn’t have websites have had their identities completely stolen.
Unknown persons have created impostor websites using the identities of the journals Wulfenia and Archives des Sciences. The fraudsters have created new websites and have copied the titles, ISSNs, and even the mailing addresses of the established journals. The bogus websites have also prominently displayed the impact factor values that the legitimate journals earned, claiming them as their own.
The motive appears to be fraud. The hoodlums apparently want to earn money through author fees on accepted articles and by re-selling content previously published in other, legitimate journals. The articles in the two impostor journals are not open access.
Wulfenia is a print journal published by the Kärntner Botanikzentrum in Austria. It is published once a year in print only and does not have a website — or at least it didn’t until the botanic garden set up one quickly to expose the identity theft:
I spoke with the legitimate journal’s editor in chief, Dr. Roland K. Eberwein, by telephone this morning. He said they are aware of the situation and have retained a lawyer to help. He told me that the bogus website cannot be viewed in Austria, and that garden staff only became aware of the situation a few days ago.
I asked Dr. Eberwein who the perpetrator of this fraud is, and he indicated that he didn’t know but that there appeared to be an Iranian connection.
The other hijacked journal is Geneva-based Archives des Sciences. The modus operandi here is the same: an established and respected print journal that lacks a website has had its identity completely stolen by online hoodlums, who have created an impostor website using all the journal’s information. In both cases, the journals appear to be selling old articles from other publishers — at US $550 per issue.
The counterfeit website for Archives des Sciences is here: http://sciencesarchive.com/
Please don’t be fooled by these bogus websites, which will hopefully be shut down soon. Please pass on this information to scholars who may be considering submitting articles to the impostor journals.
CORRECTION: There is an original and legitimate website for Wulfenia: http://www.landesmuseum.ktn.gv.at/210226w_DE.htm?seite=15